Saturday, October 17, 2015

Battling colds while pregnant

Let's face it...getting sick sucks. As a mom, I hate getting sick. I find it tough to take care of myself and get the rest that I need. Getting sick as a pregnant mom is even more challenging. I was lucky enough to breeze through my last pregnancy without even a minor cold. I knew it was inevitable when Jenn got sick two weeks ago. Sicker than I've ever seen her -- the in bed with a fever and chills for two days straight kind of sick. We sent her to the basement to rest. It still took her several days after those two days in bed to fully recover. During that time, the girls started waking in the night for various reasons. After several nights of this, I was exhausted. After 10 days straight of waking in the night multiple times, I was a walking zombie. I knew that sickness was inevitable.

It came in the form of a cold that start mildly last Saturday. By Sunday, it had moved to my head. The head congestion was brutal and I struggled to find a comfortable position to get some rest. I usually don't turn to OTC medications, but had I not been pregnant, I might have on Sunday. Here's what I did instead. This would be beneficial to anyone, from child to adult, during sickness.

Lemon-Raw Honey-Apple Cider Vinegar Tea
  • We all know that lemons are packed with vitamin C -- a key immune booster and cold fighter. 
  • Raw Honey -- I wrote a post about it a few years ago. It is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, basically anti-everything (in the best possible way!). It's a great cough remedy and a great addition to tea. The medicinal benefits can only be found in the raw, unpasturized honey. 
  • Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) -- It is alkalinizing, which helps kill a cold because colds send the body into an overly acidic state (lemon is alkalinizing too). 
  • To make the drink, I squeeze half a lemon, about 1 tbsp of ACV (more if you can tolerate it) and 1 tsp-1tbsp of raw honey into hot water. 
Vitamin C
  • As I said above, vitamin C is a key cold fighter. 
  • Being pregnant, I only take 3000mg per day, split into several 500mg doses approximately 2 hours apart. (Note: In the first trimester, limit vitamin C intake to 2000mg per day because it has been linked to miscarriages. In trimester two and three, limit intake to 4000mg.)
Vitamin D
  • If you live in a colder climate, you are likely deficient in vitamin D if you don't supplement. It is super important for immune health, but very often overlooked. The kids and I take it from October to May. I regularly take 2000-4000IU per day. The kids take 1000-2000IU per day.
  • During colds, I usually double those amounts. 
  • Note: Take vitamin D with food, preferably foods with fat in them. Vitamin D is fat soluble, meaning it needs fat to be absorbed by the body. 
  • I'm a huge fan of probiotics. It is one of the few supplements that I believe everyone, from a newborn to an elderly adult, should take. 
  • A healthy gut is needed for a healthy immune system. Probiotics, or "good" bacteria, help keep the digestive tract healthy and working optimally. 
  • Numerous studies show that young children who take a probiotic daily get less colds, coughs and fevers than those who do not. While its benefits are mostly preventative, I always double our probiotics dose during times of sickness. 
Mediherb Echinacea
  • I won't lie, this stuff tastes terrible. Putting a dose in a shot of juice makes it completely manageable. And, this super high quality echinacea is a true powerhouse in the immune department. While echinacea is considered safe in pregnancy, my ND said that this is the only one she would recommend. 
  • Echinacea boosts the immune system's response by assisting the white blood cells in their attack against foreign cells.
  • Note: Echinacea shouldn't be taken long term. I usually take it when I feel sickness coming on and continue taking it for several days after I recover. While pregnant, I take 1 tsp. per day. I give the kids 1/4 tsp. per day. Last weekend, I took an additional tsp. for two days straight to give me a boost. 

1 comment:

  1. Ugghhh, hope you are feeling better, Mama :(

    I'm totally filing that apple cider vinegar tea concoction for future reference. A head cold finds me every.single.year no matter what preventative measures I take!